Witches, magic and the full moon. Words that inspire thoughts of dark and spooky scenarios, evil spell casting and mysterious covens. And yet, not all the realm of witches and witchcraft, involves only the dark side of human nature. While some will attempt to associate spell casting and magic with only an evil bent, in reality, witchcraft entails both, good and bad, the light and the dark. This book of short stories strives to tell the tale of both sides. Witches and covens use the lunar cycle, for all of their magical workings. An esbat is a full moon ritual, thus the name of this book. Some of the stories revolve around the full moon, which usually, in the realm of witches and magic, connotes a more positive or at least benign aspect of witchcraft. Some of the stories are written with the dark of the moon as the impetus for the plot line. It is true, the dark of the moon is the time, when a witch or a coven, will practice magic and cast spells of a more deleterious nature. But even so, this is not always the case. For instance, a new moon or dark moon ritual, may consist of a spell casting to diminish sickness in a loved one, or perhaps, to ‘bind’ or stop the negative affects of a previous spell. For, just like anything else in life, there are many subtle shades of spell casting and magical intent. You see... a witch is inherently, neither good nor evil. A witch is only the sum of his or her, whole being. If a witch or a coven, toils in its magic to induce harm, or send negative energy to the universe, then one would be correct in stating they are involved in a more sinister type of magic. However, if a witch or coven strives to produce magic of a healing or supportive nature, then one could easily say, they are practicing a beneficial form of magic. There is also, everything in between these two ends of the spectrum. Basically, it is the intention and spell work involved, that determines the good or bad. This is part of the reality of human nature. Of the seven contemporary stories enclosed in this book, one titled, “A Mother’s Sacrifice” relates the tale of Jeremy and Jamie, twin brother and sister. They are two innocent teenagers who are invited on a canoe trip, only to find the price of the trip is not free. Another story, “Love the Witch and the Warlock” tells of an unsuspecting womanizer, who is lured under the spell of a witch, who tricks him into becoming a warlock. Ultimately, he suffers the consequences of being a betrayer and an oath breaker. Then, there is the story, “Evengel”. A heartwarming account of Danielle, a lonely, sixteen year old girl that befriends a poor old lady, only to later find, the old woman was a powerful witch that protected Danielle in her most dire time of need. Six of the stories are set in medieval Europe. One story, “Witches Garden”, unfolds in fifteenth century Italy, and tells of a local nobleman, who, because of a longstanding drought accuses an old woman living in the forest, of witchcraft. When the nobleman, along with his sheriffs, confronts this haggard old woman, they break the spell of the drought. But unbeknownst to the nobleman, he must pay the ultimate cost. Another of the stories, “The Curse of Tuath Ui Failge”, recounts the tale of Father Bairéad, a young and affable Catholic priest, who is sent into the wilds of seventh century Ireland. He seeks the conversion of Pagan souls to Christ, but instead, invokes an ancient curse cast by a Celtic tribal witch. The story, “Shadow Witch”, entails a brash, uncouth German mercenary in eleventh century Britain. His attempt to reclaim a Christian monastery that had fallen under the spell of the Shadow Witch does not turn out the way he planned. One story, “Come Play with Me” tells of the daughter of a Teutonic Knight, who befriends another young girl, unknowingly, entangling their fate together. All of these stories and the others in this book, end with a twist, at times inspiring a sense of uplifting hope, and at times, inducing a sense of forlorn dread. As to how the reader perceives these endings, most likely, depends on how one sees the world around them. Overall, the intent of these stories is to hopefully, allow the reader to delve into them, and after reading each one of them, instill a sense of wonder and insight into a subject many know little about.